Japan Recycles 77 Percent of Plastics

Photo Credit: Treehugger

In 2010, Japan recycled 77 percent of its plastic waste, making it one of the top plastic recyclers in the world.

This is an improvement over 2006 when Japan recycled 73 percent of its plastic. And it’s almost double of 1996, when only 39 percent was recycled.

Japan’s recycling rate is roughly twice that of the U.K. And compared to the U.S.? Well we recycle only 20 percent of our plastic. Japan also recycled 72 percent of their plastic PET bottles in 2010. This is more than double the U.S. rate of 29 percent.

How has Japan managed to do this?

Simple—Japan lacks landfill space. Consequently, they developed an extensive list of accepted recycled materials and increased recycling laws and mandates. The U.S. has space for landfills and hasn’t had to make tough recycling laws yet. I don’t see that as a good excuse—we should

What are the plastic recycling laws like where you live?

More information can be found here.

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